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Report: Coldest April in Over a Decade for U.S.

Chris Dolce and Andy Cox
Published: May 15, 2013

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Source: National Climatic Data Center
Above: Our interactive map shows the temperature and precipitation rankings by state compared to average for April 2013, January-April 2013 and January-April 2012. Click the Previous and Next buttons to step through the maps. Hover over each state for more detailed information.

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April 2013 was wetter-than-average and the coldest since 1997, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), an arm of the federal government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

(MORE: Extremes of April 2013)

Cold Dominated Central States

The monthly report showed that for the contiguous 48 states as a whole, April's average temperature was 1.4 degrees cooler than the 20th-century average, making it the 23rd-coolest of the past 119 years (1895 to present).

This comes on the heels of March 2013, which ranked as the 43rd coldest March on record.

In simplified terms, the NCDC calculates these average temperatures by averaging the high and low temperatures across a large number of observation sites across the country. In the case of April, the readings for all 30 days of the month are taken and averaged together.

The central states saw temperatures the farthest below average in April 2013. For North Dakota, it was the coldest April on record. South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Wisconsin all had a top 10 coldest April.

Above-average temperatures focused on parts of the Middle Atlantic and the Southwest. California was the farthest above average and had its 12th warmest April.

April Wetter Than Average

Overall, it was the 19th wettest April in the Lower 48 states.

Drenching rains from April 17-18 led to one of the wettest Aprils on record in parts of the Midwest. Major and even record river flooding was reported in portions of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Indiana.

Michigan and Iowa both recorded their wettest April on record. It was a top 10 wettest April in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

It wasn't wet everywhere though. Parts of the Northeast and Southwest had a drier-than-average April. In New Mexico, where exceptional drought now covers 40 percent of the state, it was the 12th driest April.

(PHOTOS: Midwest Flooding)

First Third of the Year Report

Temperatures combined during the January - April 2013 period have been near average in the Lower 48 states. This is in contrast to the first four months of 2012, which ranked as the warmest such period on record.

Precipitation overall has also been near-average in the Lower 48 states during the January - April 2013 timeframe.

However, the national average masks strong regional patterns.

Michigan and Wisconsin have seen their wettest first four months of a year on record. In California, no other January - April period has been drier than 2013.

Several other states have recorded a top 10 driest or top 10 wettest January - April.

Top 10 Driest January - April: California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut

Top 10 Wettest January - April: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri

PHOTOS: April Flooding in the Midwest

Hardin, Ill.

Hardin, Ill.

A pickup truck was left parked too long near the Illinois River on the north side of Hardin, Ill., in Calhoun County, and was quickly being submerged Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/The Telegraph, John Badman)

  • Hardin, Ill.
  • Moorhead, Minn.
  • Kampsville, Ill.
  • Fulton County, Ill.
  • Beardstown, Ill.
  • Mason County, Ill.
  • Alton, Ill.
  • Peoria Heights, Ill.
  • Hardin, Ill.
  • Dutchtown, Mo.
  • Spring Bay, Ill.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Peoria, Ill.
  • Barstow, Ill.
  • Barstow, Ill.
  • Grafton, Ill.
  • Moline, Ill.
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Louisiana, Mo.
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Chillicothe, Ill.
  • Chillicothe, Ill.
  • West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Utica, Ill.
  • Utica, Ill.
  • Peru, Ill.
  • Marseilles, Ill.
  • London Mills, Ill.
  • Ottawa, Ill.
  • Quincy, Ill.
  • Quincy, Ill.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Lafayette, Ind.
  • Lafayette, Ind.
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Burlington, Iowa
  • New Lenox, Ill.
  • Zionsville, Ind.
  • Zionsville, Ind.
  • Zionsville, Ind.
  • New Lenox, Ill.
  • Edgerton, Wis.
  • Edgerton, Wis.
  • Newville, Wis.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Cedar Creek Township, Mich.
  • Peoria, Ill.
  • Roanoke, Ill.
  • Geneseo, Ill.
  • Plainfield, Ill.
  • Burlington, Iowa
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Clarksville, Mo.
  • Battle Ground, Ind.
  • Lisle, Ill.
  • Lisle, Ill.
  • West Peoria, Ill.
  • Vermont, Ill.
  • Chicago
  • Chicago
  • Lisle, Ill.

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